CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
Home > CWE List > CWE- Individual Dictionary Definition (3.1)  
ID

CWE-397: Declaration of Throws for Generic Exception

Weakness ID: 397
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
Throwing overly broad exceptions promotes complex error handling code that is more likely to contain security vulnerabilities.
+ Extended Description
Declaring a method to throw Exception or Throwable makes it difficult for callers to perform proper error handling and error recovery. Java's exception mechanism, for example, is set up to make it easy for callers to anticipate what can go wrong and write code to handle each specific exceptional circumstance. Declaring that a method throws a generic form of exception defeats this system.
+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.221Information Loss or Omission
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.703Improper Check or Handling of Exceptional Conditions
ChildOfClassClass - a weakness that is described in a very abstract fashion, typically independent of any specific language or technology. More general than a Base weakness.705Incorrect Control Flow Scoping
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.389Error Conditions, Return Values, Status Codes
+ Modes Of Introduction

The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Architecture and Design
Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.

Languages

C++ (Undetermined Prevalence)

Java (Undetermined Prevalence)

C# (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Non-Repudiation
Other

Technical Impact: Hide Activities; Alter Execution Logic

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following method throws three types of exceptions.

(good code)
Example Language: Java 
public void doExchange() throws IOException, InvocationTargetException, SQLException {
...
}

While it might seem tidier to write

(bad code)
 
public void doExchange() throws Exception {
...
}

doing so hampers the caller's ability to understand and handle the exceptions that occur. Further, if a later revision of doExchange() introduces a new type of exception that should be treated differently than previous exceptions, there is no easy way to enforce this requirement.

+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.3887PK - Errors
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.851CERT Java Secure Coding Section 06 - Exceptional Behavior (ERR)
MemberOfCategoryCategory - a CWE entry that contains a set of other entries that share a common characteristic.960SFP Secondary Cluster: Ambiguous Exception Type
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsOverly-Broad Throws Declaration
CERT Java Secure CodingERR07-JDo not throw RuntimeException, Exception, or Throwable
Software Fault PatternsSFP5Ambiguous Exception Type
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
7 Pernicious Kingdoms
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms, Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2008-09-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
Removed C from Applicable_Platforms
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Applicable_Platforms
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-05-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2009-10-29CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Other_Notes
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Overly-Broad Throws Declaration

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated: March 29, 2018